Owning a pet can be a breeze if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, not many pet owners understand the type of animal they own, and that is why they either end up abandoned or sent to a shelter.
Pockets pets are what can also be referred to as exotic animals. They are popular due to their small size and feature the likes of rodents, birds, and reptiles.
Their care ranges from minimal to specialized, and sufficient knowledge is required to ensure longevity. These pets can be classed along feeding lines as well to better understand their care.
20 Pocket Pet Species That You Can Own
To better understand the type of animals that fall under this category, here is a reference list that you can use.
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What You Should Know Before Owning a Pocket Pet
Before deciding which category of animal you want to keep as a pet, there are a few golden rules that you need to follow.
Once these are in place, you are well on your way to having a lasting companion in your household. Below are the things you need to have in place:
Find out if the animal you want to keep is legal in your location. Some pet stores can be scrupulous in their dealings.
They may tell you the animal is legal when in fact, the opposite is true. You can find out this information from your local government website
Before adopting a pocket pet, find out if you can get veterinary care within your location.
You can do this by checking several veterinary websites and see what sort of animals they cater to. If the animal does not appear, then probably it is illegal to own it as well.
Just as you have a preferred diet, so do pocket pets. There are three main categories when it comes to pocket pet dietary requirements.
You have herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. Each of these classes has unique types of food that they require for optimal health.
Different animals require different living arrangements. To ensure that you can properly take care of your pet, find out exactly if the supplies are there for you to do so.
For example, finches and hamsters are fine living in a cage. And these you can easily find at your local pet store or hardware store.
Every pocket pet has a preferred way of life. You have those that are nocturnal and those that are active during the day.
Find out if your animal is a solitary animal or requires companionship. Understanding these aspects will aid you in providing proper care.
List of Pocket Pets That Make The Best Companions
If you are a first-time owner, you are better off starting with mammalian pocket pets. Rodents are the most common in this class.
Here is a list of pocket pets that make the best companions.
Guinea pigs can be put in a cage or within an enclosure at a designated area in the house. They require activity so having a climbing space will aid in their exercise.
Ensure the floor area is well padded as they have very sensitive feet. You can use recycled paper clippings as the floor material.
Clean their area often as they have very potent urine that may cause ulceration to their skin.
Guinea pigs are herbivores, meaning they are strictly plant-eaters. You can feed them on leafy vegetables and also some plant-based treats.
They are not heavy eaters, so you are not about to break the bank in feeding them.
Gerbils are great for families. They are super friendly and do not bite often. They are day animals and enjoy playtime during this period.
What makes gerbils popular, is their curious nature. They are sure to entertain you with their inquisitive antiques.
It is advised to have gerbils in pairs, given their social nature. Avoid keeping male gerbils together as they will fight. Also, avoid a male-female pairing, or you will soon be caring for an entire clan of them.
They can also be put in cages with hard bottoms as their little feet can get stuck in the mesh. Ensure the spaces on the walls are narrow because if given the chance they will escape.
Gerbils are burrowing animals, so provide a lot of bedding to allow them to tunnel through. Add lots of climbing surfaces as they are very active animals.
Gerbils are omnivores, meaning they can feed on both plants and nuts. You can find their exact food at any local pet shop, where you will be provided with special pellets.
You can also buy special chewing toys for them to help them deal with their tooth overgrowth. Also, a mixture of seeds and nuts is ideal for them. It allows them to feel more in their natural habitat.
A rabbit will be your best buddy when given good care. They are easily trainable and very tame. Rabbits are also super active, and when happy, you will find them hopping about in your house.
Rabbits can live both indoors and outdoors. They do require a place to hide when sleeping, so make sure the cage has a hiding compartment.
They do tend to produce a lot of guano. Therefore, regular cleaning of their quarters is required. Rabbits are gnawing animals and will chew at anything within their sight.
There are special cages for keeping bunnies. You can ask for recommendations from your local pet store owner to recommend one.
Rabbits are herbivores and require a diet rich in plant matter. Provide a mix of leafy and crunchy vegetables to cater to their gnawing nature. You can also buy pellets rich in vitamins at the pet shop.
These tiny little fellows are darlings to have in the house. They love to cuddle and can be very social.
Unlike what you see in movies, domesticated rats are one of the cleanest pets you can have. They are easy to train, given their high intelligence levels.
Mice enjoy spaces where they can explore and find out new things. When buying a mouse cage, make sure it caters to this trait. They make great companions for gerbils and can be housed together with no problems.
Avoid paring mice of different genders as they tend to multiply very quickly. They also are part of the burrowing class of animals, so a tunnel or two will be a great addition to the habitat.
Mice like to chew a lot, so include some chewing materials in their diet. They are omnivores and will do well with a diet that features nuts and seeds.
You can never go wrong with a hamster as a pet. These playful little fellows are a joy to watch whenever they are out to play. They have very fine coats, which makes them a joy to cuddle.
They do tend to bite, so it is advised to handle them with care. Hamsters tend to be more playful at night. However, they can still offer entertainment during the day.
As with mice and gerbils, hamsters also prefer spaces that provide them with lots of activities. They do well in cages that feature a hard floor and lots of padding.
Recycled newspaper clippings make excellent padding for their environment. You can also add a wheel in their enclosure and watch it do its exercise routine.
A compartment in which they can hide is also ideal, as they enjoy their beauty sleep undisturbed. They are solitary animals and will do well when living alone.
Hamsters are omnivores and will enjoy a diet of pellets, with a mix of nuts and seeds. Be sure to include some vitamin supplements in their diet. It helps boost their immunity and energy levels.
There you have it. Now you know which are the best pocket pets and what you need to do to get one and take care of it.